Whenever someone goes to work, they could potentially get hurt. Their job responsibilities might put them at risk of a fall or toxic chemical exposure. They could overexert themselves or develop a repetitive stress injury after years of doing the same job functions.
There is also a significant and statistically growing risk related to workplace violence. Violence on the job could be inflicted by a coworker, a patient, a student or a customer. Someone might try to rob a retail store or escalate an argument with a supervisor into a physical altercation.
Workplace violence is on the rise
In recent years, the number of incidents involving interpersonal violence in a professional setting has increased noticeably. According to an analysis of workers’ compensation claims, there was a 25% increase in claims related to workplace violence between 2013 and 2022. More than half of the people hurt by violence on the job worked in the health care and social services field.
Workers in any profession may need to more carefully monitor their surroundings and the behavior of both co-workers and patrons to protect themselves from assault and other violent conduct now than a few years ago. Employers can also take steps to limit violence that targets their workers. They can invest in better security systems and hire security professionals. They can also provide human resources support to address conflicts between workers and volatile individuals.
Workers’ compensation can help those affected by violence
The no-fault nature of workers’ compensation is beneficial for those hurt by interpersonal violence on the job, as it allows someone to make a claim for benefits even though their employer may not have been directly to blame for their injuries. They don’t have to show there was any negligence on the part of the employer, only that the violence they experienced on the job caused their injuries.
Workers may qualify for health benefits and also partial wage reimbursement after an incident where they get assaulted or otherwise injured by another person. Recognizing when workers’ compensation coverage likely applies can help those who are worried about protecting themselves after a violent incident on the job. Working with a legal professional to secure rightful benefits is usually the best first step forward, especially if an employee’s injuries are significant.